Former Tigers greats back young pack - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Former Tigers greats back young pack

By Steve Jancetic 14/09/2005 07:24:24 PM Comments (0)

It's Dad's Army versus the kids, but former Balmain greats Wayne Pearce and Ben Elias have backed the Wests Tigers' inexperienced forwards to get the better of Brisbane's ageing warriors.

The Tigers forwards head into Saturday night's first NRL semi-final against the Broncos dwarfed in age and big-match experience against the oldest pack in the competition.

Four of the Broncos forwards are over 30, with 36-year-old backrower Darren Smith helping boost the average age to just a tick over 30, while they can also boast over 80 State of Origin matches and 50 Tests between them.

Conversely the Tigers pack has only one 30-something, former skipper Mark O'Neill, and an average age of just over 25.

Young lock Dene Halatau is the only Tigers forward to have played representative football, having taken part in his second match for New Zealand in the Anzac Test against Australia earlier this year.

But rather than look at the Tigers' inexperience as a negative, Elias said the Tigers' youth would be a major plus for the finals rookies.

"Youth is a beautiful thing," Elias said.

"The greatest resource in the world is youth. Our boys have been playing some phenomenal football, their first semi-final and they won by 50 points. You can't buy that experience."

Pearce was also of the view that the ageing Brisbane forwards could be found wanting on Saturday night.

"The Broncos have got a lot of experience but with age also comes potential for lack of mobility," Pearce said.

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